Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Post-Apocalyptic Superheroes With A Side Of The Undead

Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines
Over the past few years, we have seen a preponderance of both zombie and superhero related books and movies. Individually, they have both been done so heavily that some people, myself included, have an instinctual eye-roll, when hearing of a new film or title dealing with either the undead or some caped crusader  (admittedly, the eye roll is followed by grabbing it to see it its any good because let’s face it, both can be pretty entertaining).  When I spotted Ex-Heroes it was no different. Yet, Clines brings both the undead and superheroes together in a decidedly entertaining way. First, our superheroes are holed up in the now fortified Paramount studios lots. Second, the handful of heroes is attempting to rebuild some semblance of civilization with a few thousand normal survivors. There is also a competition amongst the normal guards to see who can put down the greatest number of celebrity zombies.
Cline brings us into the story about 2 years after the initial outbreak. The Mount, where everyone is holed up, is a mostly functioning society with the heroes acting as guardians and, to a degree, the government. Yet, they start to learn that scrounging for supplies and avoiding the undead is not the only things they have to worry about. An L.A. street gang seems to be growing in strength and growing in power. But the oddest thing is that the gang seems to somehow have control over the zombies, including a few superheroes turned zombies.
                There is very little surprising in Ex-Heroes, but Clines does an excellent job about breaking up the main plot with a mixture of the heroes’ backstory and the events leading up to the apocalypse. Additionally, he does a solid job giving each of the heroes dimension and character.  It certainly is not a story to tickle your intellect, but certainly an amusing caper for a few afternoons.

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